Director: Niamh Crowley
SAM has both a Sinfonietta (Senior) and Junior Orchestra.
The Sligo Academy of Music has had an orchestral programme of activities since 2002. Due to the growing number of children participating, it was decided to form a second ensemble and the Sligo Academy of Music Junior Orchestra and Sinfonietta were formed in September 2005.
Both orchestras have been privileged to be chosen to perform on a number of occasions at the IAYO Festival of Youth Orchestras in the National Concert Hall. They have also engaged in concert exchanges with many national ensembles including Dublin, Carlow, Kilkenny and Galway, Julianstown and Athenry Youth Orchestras, Coole Music and the Orchestra of NUIG. In October 2019 the Sinfonietta performed a Symphony of Dance with a number of local DJSs and singers Sinead Conway and Famous Dave as part of the Sligo Live Festival.
The Sinfonietta has a busy performance schedule both nationally and internationally. They have performed at the Young Prague Festival of Choirs and Orchestras in the Czech Republic on two occasions and in 2016 they were the first Irish Orchestra to receive a Silver medal in the competition. The Sinfonietta have undertaken concert tours in Hungary, The Netherlands and 2012 saw them perform in the Luxembourg Gardens and Disneyland, Paris. In June 2018 they enjoyed a concert tour to New York.
A number of Sinfonietta members performed for Prince Charles on his royal visit to Sligo.
In their many concert appearances the orchestras have performed with the Eurovision winner Eimear Quinn, Dervish, Zoe Conway, piper Leonard Barry, Anything Goes, Paddy Cole and his All Stars, County Sligo Golf Club Male Voice Choir, Sligo Orpheus Choir and the Sligo Concert Band to name but a few, and entertain Sligo audiences regularly at many different events most notably the annual Mayor’s Ball and Sligo Chamber of Commerce Dinner. They have participated in the National Culture Night and regularly perform in fundraising events for local charities including The RNLI, The Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association, The Deferno Trust, North West Hospice, Donal Parsons Trust, Irish Heart Foundation.
In April 2017 the orchestra organised a benefit concert for the Hawkswell Theatre Renovation Fund contributing €4,500 to this vital asset in our community.
As part of Sligo’s All Ireland Fleadh celebration the Sinfonietta were thrilled to collaborate in gala concerts with Dervish and The West Ocean String Quartet, they also recently participated in an exchange with young musicians from the Coleman Centre in Gurteen. The SAM Sinfonietta also worked with Music Generation Sligo on the performance of ‘The Big Bang’, a suite of pieces written by young Sligo composers which took place in the Hawkswell Theatre, Sligo and in the National Concert Hall in Nov 2014 as part of the Music Generation National Showcase. In October 2014 they hosted an Orchestra from Basel, Switzerland. They have performed in the acclaimed “Kieran Quinn’s Movie and Piano Man Theme Night’s” performing with many different singers including Tabby Callaghan, Sinead Conway, Cathy Jordan and Sandy Kelly. In 2019 the orchestra participated in composition workshops with the Whistleblast Quartet culminating in a number of performances nationwide.
15 SAM students have been members of the National Youth Orchestra of Ireland and 3 of our alumnui perform with the National Youth Orchestra of Ireland Camerata. A number of our students also perform with The Irish Youth Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Waves Orchestra
SAM Junior Orchestra also enjoys a busy performance schedule with concerts nationwide including the National Concert Hall, Coole Music Festival of Junior Orchestras, Tuam Arts Festival, the Helix and many local performances.
Weekly rehearsal times:
Sinfonietta : Thursday 5.45 – 7.15pm
Junior: Saturday 11 – 12pm
Auditions for both orchestras are held on the first Thursday/Saturday of the new September term. Sinfonietta Orchestra is open to students who have attained Grade 4+ on Violin and 3+ on all other instruments.